Simon Harmer Triple Crown Challenge

Military veteran and double leg amputee swimmer prepares for Triple Crown Challenge

Open water swimmer and double leg amputee Simon Harmer is gearing up to tackle the Triple Crown Challenge next month – swimming Coniston, Windermere and Ullswater in the Lake District

Open water swimmer and double leg amputee Simon Harmer is gearing up to tackle the Triple Crown Challenge this summer. This endeavor will see Simon swim across three iconic lakes in the Lake District – Coniston, Windermere, and Ullswater – supporting two charities: Team True Spirit and The Pinder Trust.

The Triple Crown Challenge kicks off on Saturday 22 June 2024, with the Chillswim Coniston event, where Simon will swim 5.25 miles from the southern end to Monk Coniston. This will be followed by Chillswim Windermere on 27 June 2024, covering 11 miles from end to end. The final leg of the challenge takes place on Saturday 13 July with the Chillswim Ullswater event, a 7.5-mile swim from Glenridding to Pooley Bridge.

Throughout his challenge Simon – a military veteran – is raising money and awareness for two charities: Team True Spirit, which is dedicated to empowering British military veterans who have been injured or fallen ill while serving their country, and The Pinder Trust, a charity supporting disabled individuals in accessing water-based activities.

In the lead-up to his first swim next month, Simon spoke to us about his training, and why he’s taking on this epic feat.

Simon, what prompted you to take on this Triple Crown Challenge?

I chose this challenge because swimming is not only my passion but also my refuge it’s where I feel most at ease and capable, regardless of my physical limitations.

Through this challenge, I’m raising funds and amplifying the voices of two remarkable charities, Team True Spirit and The Pinder Trust. These organisations, like me, defy expectations and strive to make a significant impact despite their size. I want to show the world that regardless of ability, with dedication and a resilient spirit, we can conquer any obstacle.

This challenge has already transformed my life, pushing me to achieve a level of fitness I once thought impossible. By sharing my story and undertaking this monumental feat, I hope to inspire others to pursue their dreams fearlessly, no matter the odds stacked against them.

How have you been training for the challenge?

I’ve been training incredibly hard over the past four months, some serious distance has been clocked up under my arms. Since January, I have been increasing my distances progressively each month. In April I swam 40km. I’m very proud that I have been able to complete this amount of training amongst everything else that’s going on in my life.

While I anticipate numerous challenges along the way, I’m prepared to tackle them head-on. Whether it’s meticulous planning or embracing flexibility, I’m determined to navigate every obstacle that comes my way.

What does swimming mean to you?

Swimming isn’t just a hobby for me; it’s part of my identity. It’s where I find solace, strength, and a sense of normalcy. Through this challenge, I’m embracing my identity and proving that the water is where I truly belong.

To donate to Simon’s fundraiser, visit

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